LOWER SILESIA BY BIKE
BICYCLE ROUTES IN YOUR POCKET
It was a real race: in winter, Lower Silesia Tourism Organization set us the task of implementing an application for cyclists. We had to make it before the spring tourist season. We took up this challenge like professional cyclists, and we brought the great Lower Silesia by Bike application to the finish line.
The Client’s goal was clearly defined. Having a database of over 250 GPX tracks, Lower Silesia Tourism Organization wanted to provide a tool tourists could use to navigate the many bicycle routes available in Lower Silesia. The content layer, which – in addition to showing the routes – was also supposed to contain descriptions of tourist attractions, photo galleries, larger stories about the cycling areas of Lower Silesia, and tourist news, was not the only challenge we faced during the implementation of the application.
During workshops with the Client, from which we usually start working on the product, we collected all the requirements, which we then divided into functional (what the application should do) and non-functional (how the application should work). The priorities for our Client were the availability of the tool for various platforms, including the mobile ones, as well as the best possible efficiency and speed. The visual layer and usability of the application were also important.
When we started the design work, we already knew that tourist products have their own specificity. In addition to the substantive content, an important issue is the attractive design, appealing to tourists looking for attractions in a given region. The visual layer of the application was based on the beautiful landscapes of Lower Silesia, and many of the visuals used in the design of the application directly refer to bicycle touring, in accordance with the rich assets provided by Lower Silesia Tourism Organization.
Usability was another challenge when building the Lower Silesia by Bike application. The problem was the multitude of routes that had to be divided according to specific lands, and additionally enable easy searching by the most important criteria from the cyclist’s point of view, such as: route length, difficulty, surface, slope, type of route and its markings. The map, on the other hand, should show the attractions as well as the route itself, which was particularly difficult in the mobile application, where the space for displaying data is limited by a small screen. We solved this issue by presenting on the map the routes, as well as the (collapsible) graph of elevation gains and the information axis of the route with photos and descriptions of attractions. In addition, the user operating the Lower Silesia by Bike application in the field can send information about an obstacle to the route manager from the level of a given route. The routes can therefore be maintained thanks to the direct support of tourists!
The availability of the tool for phones was a key technological challenge. The performance and speed of the application were also important, which was quite a challenge with a varied content, numerous photos and GPX files. So we approached building the application in a hybrid manner, based on API and Ionic framework, with the front rendered in Vue.js. The editing layer of the application allows easy addition of routes and descriptions by Lower Silesia Tourism Organization’s editors, but the content itself is uploaded to the application framework via the API, which greatly accelerated the operation of the application interface.
Our Client, Lower Silesia Tourism Organization has many interesting ideas for the development of the application. It will soon include the bike parks located in the region. Cooperation with partners in border regions is also developing – today there are already several routes available in the Lower Silesia by Bikeapplication on the German side of the region. We continue the work on further functionalities of the application, which we will deliver in the next iterations of the development of this product.
It is worth noting that the adopted model of building the application perfectly meets the needs of tourist organisations throughout the country. Lower Silesia by Bike application presents bicycle routes. However, nothing stands in the way of presenting hiking, horse riding, canoeing, historical trails, etc. in a similar application. Therefore, we would like to invite tourist organisations, companies from the tourist industry, as well as city and province promotion departments to test the application. It can be accessed via a desktop browser at www.lowersilesiabybike.pl or downloaded from stores:
If you are interested in the technological and product model proposed in the Lower Silesia by Bike application for Lower Silesia Tourism Organization, you want to attract new users and customers to your tourist product, or you have an idea for another efficient and attractive application for your business, contact us – we will talk about the needs of your business.